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The European Commission has approved funding for 202 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union’s environment fund.
The projects cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, climate change and information and communication on environmental issues. They represent a total investment of some €516.5 million, of which the EU will provide €268.4 million.
Malta has one project, LIFE+ Nature with funding of €1.0 million. Project MIGRATE is organised by Malta Environment and Planning Authority.
The project’s main objective is to identify the relevant marine areas for the loggerhead turtle and the bottlenose dolphin, in order to designate marine SCIs within Malta’s 25 nautical miles Exclusive Fishing Zone. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said, “In this 20th anniversary year of the LIFE programme and the Habitats Directive, I’m delighted to announce the continuing support for high quality environmental projects across the EU. These latest LIFE+ projects continue a trend, started two decades ago, for innovative and best-practice actions furthering nature conservation, improving the environment and tackling climate change.”
The Commission received 1 078 applications from the 27 EU Member States in response to its latest call for proposals, which closed in July 2011. Of these, 202 were selected for co-funding through the programme’s three components: LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE+ Information and Communication.
LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity projects improve the conservation status of endangered species and habitats. Of the 268 proposals received, the Commission selected 76 projects for funding from partnerships of conservation bodies, government authorities and other parties. Situated in 22 Member States, they represent a total investment of €241.8 million, of which the EU will provide €136 million. 71 are Nature projects, contributing to the implementation of the Birds and/or Habitats Directives and Natura 2000. The other five tackle wider biodiversity issues.
LIFE+ Environment Policy & Governance projects are pilot projects that contribute to the development of innovative policy ideas, technologies, methods and instruments. Of the 607 proposals received, the Commission selected 113 projects for funding from a wide range of public and private sector organisations. The winning projects represent a total investment of €258.4 million, of which the EU will provide some €124.4 million.
Under this component, the Commission will contribute more than €31.4 million to 23 projects directly tackling climate change, with a total budget of €67.8 million. In addition, many other projects focussing on other issues will also have an indirect impact on greenhouse emissions. Waste and water are two other important areas of focus with respectively, 29 projects and 19 projects selected.
LIFE+ Information and Communication projects disseminate information and raise the profile of environmental issues and provide training and awareness-raising for the prevention of forest fires. Of the 203 proposals received, the Commission selected for funding 13 projects from a range of public and private sector nature and/or environment organisations. The projects are based in nine Member States and represent a total investment of €16.2 million, of which the EU will provide some €7.2 million.
LIFE+ is the European financial instrument for the environment and has a total budget of €2.143 billion for the period 2007-2013. The Commission launches one call for LIFE+ project proposals per year.